Telephone Etiquette to Grow Your Small Business by Yodle

You may have ever called a plumber, or a spa, or a veterinarian looking for help and been so turned off by the phone conversation that you went somewhere else, which is an experience we’ve all had. And it is one we at Yodle try and help our small and local business owners avoid at all costs.

We have seen small business owners time and time again surprised by how their receptionists handle client inquiries. For this reason, a tool Yodle offers to clients we provide internet marketing services to is call recording (though not for doctors and lawyers for privacy compliance), which allows them to listen to calls and make any necessary improvements.

Having offered the call recording services for five years, we at Yodle have learned a lot from our clients about telephone etiquette. We’ve been able to assemble several best practices and wanted to share them with you all now. It is our hope that these tips will help make the most out of any methods of attracting new clients.

Answer the Phone Timely
Small business owners are often a one-person show and this seemingly simple task can become quite hard. In fact, studies show that 2 out of 3 local business owners don’t answer the phone. But not answering means that a lot of potential clients are slipping through the cracks and finding competitors instead! If you can’t always grab it when it rings, you can 1) hire a receptionist 2) have the calls forwarded to your cell phone – making sure to have a professional voicemail message, recorded in your own voice, or even 3) use a call answering service so that the call is always picked up, and your potential customer always gets a person to speak with.

Have Well-Trained Receptionists
It’s important to train your receptionists to be positive, articulate and welcoming, as they are the front line of your business. When a potential customer calls and interrupts your receptionist’s lunch hour, they shouldn’t know that just by the tone of voice when the call is answered. Also, a well-trained receptionist will be able to handle the basic preliminary questions about the business: what services do you offer? How does this benefit me? What’s a ballpark estimate? At some point, we’ve all called a Doctor, gotten a receptionist with a bad case of the “I Don’t Knows”, hung up, and promptly found a new Doctor. Bottom Line? A friendly, patient and helpful receptionist is key.

Use Recording Devices
Obviously, your receptionist’s primary goal should be to convert phone calls into business for you, but how can you make them reach the goal? Is your receptionist getting people to set appointments quickly for your services? What about handling cancellations? Or even dealing with upset customers? Something Yodle offers to all clients, and would recommend for all calls regardless of source, is a recording device. This device has provided you with important insight into how customers are being treated and enabled you to significantly improve customer service.

Hiring a local online advertiser like Yodle to get your business found online is only the first step to success. What happens once the phone rings is up to you. While it is a tough market for local services with many uncontrollable variables impacting your business success, by having the best phone skills in town, you will have your business well controlled.

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